Prime numbers have been understood at least since the Ancient Greeks, and possibly since the Ancient Egyptians. In modern times their study has intensified greatly due to their usefulness, notably in encryption, and because computers enable them to be calculated to a massively higher level than could be done by hand.
It doesn't take much thought to realise that the whole area of phonetic algorithms is a minefield, and Soundex itself is rather restricted in its usefulness. In fact, after writing this implementation I came to the conclusion that it is rather mediocre but at least coding it up does give a better understanding of how it works and therefore its usefulness and limitations.
Wikipedia has a surprisingly brief article on the topic Soundex on Wikipedia which you might like to read.Continue reading
You could reasonably argue that data structures and algorithms are at the heart of computer science. This leads to the widespread belief that they are also at the heart of software development and that a detailed or even profound knowledge of them is necessary to be a decent programmer. I believe that while it doesn't do any harm to learn them in depth it is not the best use of your time.Continue reading
Should you always use an IDE to write software? Is it sometimes good to get back to a simple text editor and command lines tools?Continue reading
I recently wrote a post on RGB/HSL Conversions in Python and as a follow-up I decided to put together a simple Tkinter application which enables users to display a colour by selecting any combination of hue, saturation and lightness.
This application is only a toy but playing with it for a few minutes does give an intuitive understanding of the HSL system, and reinforces my conviction that it is easier to comprehend than RGB. And if you have never used Tkinter this project also provides a simple introduction to the topic.Continue reading
One of the most useful bits of number-crunching you can do is to calculate the probability distribution of a set of data in the earnest hope that it will be a reasonable fit for one of the recognised distributions such as the normal distribution. In this project I will write a Python class to calculate the normal distribution for a given data set.Continue reading